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Insulin Pens Used For Multiple Patients Could Transmit Disease

(file photo / Getty Images)

(file photo / Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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CBS Philly (con't)

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By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - It is a potentially haunting story which shows the importance of patient safety in the hospital setting.

Insulin pens are often set up where they can give multiple doses to the same person. Well more than 700 patients admitted to Veterans Affairs Western New York Health Care System over a two-year period may have been exposed to Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, and HIV due to the fact that these multi-dose pens intended for use by a single person may have been used more than one person.

This could cause spread not because of needles because they were changed. But the idea that stored insulin could have been contaminated by a backflow of blood with each use.

This is a very important point because back in 2009 the FDA issued an alert after learning that more than 2,000 patients could have been exposed in a Texas hospital. It’s very important that safety measures be followed.